If you have never had Lacto-fermented pickles then you are in for a treat. Not only are they astonishingly easy but delicious and like no other pickle you’ve had. Here are the steps and recipe I use when making them.
1. Wash and sanitize the jars you will use for your pickles. For sanitizing I use Star San, a homebrew sanitizer that works using acid to change the pH and kill bacteria. You could also use Iodophor, a dishwasher with the heated dry cycle on or boil the jars. The latter takes a bit longer, is hotter, and will potentially break jars. But it works.
2. Wash the cucumbers and soak them in cold water. Make sure to wash the ends (where the flower was and where it was connected to the vine) because Botulism can hang out there and you don’t want to grow any of that. Once clean put the cukes into some cold water and let them soak there for 2-4 hours. This helps keep them crisp as finished pickles.
Cucumbers – as many as I can jam into a jar, 6-10 depending on size
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. coriander seed
1 tbsp. fresh dill
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
5 black peppercorns
1 tbsp. sea salt*
4 tbsp. whey or previous pickle juice*
(* whey from cheese making is a great starter for pickles, I will use pickle juice from a previous jar of pickles if they were exceptionally good, or you can substitute 1 tbsp. sea salt in place of the 4 tbsp. whey or pickle juice. We are trying to make an environment in-hospitable to spoilage bacteria and a salty environment is perfect)
4. Pack your jars as tight and full of cucumbers as you can get them, stuffing your spices around the cucumbers.
5. Top up your jar with filtered water, screw on the cap and shake to dissolve the salt. Leave them at room temperature to ferment.
(The pickles on the left were made today, the jar on the right were made a couple of days ago)
The pickles will take 3-5 days to ferment (you should open the jars daily to release the gas that is produced during fermentation) You can taste the pickle juice every day to see when you want to eat your pickles. Once they taste right to you, you should put them in the fridge to stop fermentation